Threehundred and fiftysix (356) CD-ROMs (my young assistant counted them) and untold floppy disks went to the appropriate rubbish bins today. Floppy disks are to be disposed off together with the regular rubbish, but CD-ROMs are taken care of separately here in Germany, in what is called the “CD Tonne” (the CD bin). It has a slit into which we slid two CDs at a time, or a scratcher kind of thingy that destroys the CD when you shove it through (useful for personal data backups that I was destroying). There where 3 CDs and 2 floppy disks that I wanted to keep. The diskettes refused to be read on the only drive I have left, and even the CD-Roms were unreadable, in spite of trying on four different drives! I never expected the floppy disks to deliver so that didn’t disappoint me, but the CD-Roms I made in 1992, and I certainly didn’t expect those to die on me so soon. Nevertheless, the whole affair brought a tear or two to the eye. Not because of the irrecoverable data (it wasn’t that irrecoverable) but rather the amount of hard-earned money I’d paid for copies of SCO Unix, Informix, Microsoft software (Visual C, Office, Windows, etc.) and all sorts of other programs: I tallied up a bit and came to about ten thousand DM at the time of purchase. I neither need nor use the software today: Open Source has all I want.